The popularity of the weighted stuffed animal on TikTok has led to a spike in searches for these calming companions, which offer a variety of benefits including stress reduction, better sleep and relief from anxiety. These adorable cuddle buddies provide a deep pressure stimulation similar to that experienced during a hug from someone you love. Occupational therapists recommend these animals for their soothing effects, which are believed to reduce anxiety and improve sleep for people of all ages.
While most stuffed animals are soft and light, weighted ones have an extra heft—they can range from 1 to 5 pounds. The right weight depends on age and preferences, as well as sensory needs. It is important to consult an occupational therapist or another healthcare professional who specializes in sensory integration therapy when choosing the weight for a weighted stuffed animal. These experts can assess the individual and make recommendations based on their expertise.
There is limited clinical guidance on how much a weighted stuffed animal should weigh, but most products are designed for kids and adults with comfort in mind. Children typically prefer stuffed animals that are light enough not to feel burdensome, while grown-ups can usually handle a little more weight.
To make a weighted stuffed animal at home, it is possible to purchase pre-made critters or follow simple DIY instructions online. Generally, these include cutting cloth to fit the body of the plushie and creating pouches to fill with weighted material or, as an alternative, creating bean bags that are filled with weighted materials and attached at various points around the inside of the stuffed animal. weighted stuffed animal